COVENTRY Bears have sent a message about their future ambitions with a series of swoops prior to the transfer deadline.
Promising South Wales star Paul Emanuelli has signed in addition to Zac Williams a few days earlier, with the Bears taking advantage of the Ironmen’s move from Merthyr to Llanelli, a greater distance for some of their players to travel. Both players have shone in previous games against the Bears.
Emanuelli said: “Leaving South Wales was probably the hardest decision I’ve had to make for a long time. I’ve put a lot into the club over last four years but decided it was time for a change.
“Every time I’ve played Coventry I’ve been impressed with the set-up and what they are all about.”
Signalling a new relationship with Super League-chasing London Broncos, Bears have taken three promising young Broncos on loan until the end of the season. Owen Jones, Jacob Jones and Sam Davis will be keen to get League One games under their belt and benefit from Tom Tsang’s coaching.
All three come from the Midlands and this signals a clear intent to recruit and develop players from outside the traditional Rugby league playing areas in the north of England.
Head coach Tsang explained: “These signings plus the extended loan of Brad Brennan and the previous signings of Luke Frixou and Jordan Gale greatly strengthen the squad. It also has to be said this is not just about this season, but next season and beyond.”
The first outing for the new recruits could be at Hunslet in this Sunday’s Shield game.
The sides have played each other twice already this season, losing quite heavily on both occasions.
It will be interesting to see how the strengthened Bears side perform against opposition who have twice managed a convincing margin against them, with previous encounters ending 34-0 and 56-24.
The Bears return to Butts Park the following Sunday to face arch-rivals Hemel Stags.